Vulture Weeps, Gently, for the New Wu-Tang Clan Song That Might've Been

Photo: Robb D. Cohen / Retna

Okay, so remember how everyone was going nuts about the Wu-Tang Clan securing the first-ever officially sanctioned sample of a Beatles song? Well, Loud Records posted a free MP3 of the song, titled "The Heart Gently Weeps," on their site late yesterday, and as it turns out, it's built around an "interpolation" of George Harrison's classic "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" rather than a traditional sample (which means it's Dhani Harrison and a Red Hot Chili Pepper covering the song and not the actual Beatles recording). This may not be nearly as exciting in terms of novelty or legal precedent, but it certainly makes for a smoother, more organic track.

The thing is, this isn't the first time a Wu-Tang member has taken a crack at this particular Beatles tune. Ghostface Killah used what sounds like the exact same backing track on "Black Cream," from March's Hidden Darts: Special Edition mixtape (download it here!), and though that cut is a bit wild and brief in comparison to the sullen, tightly composed Wu-Tang Clan version, it includes a chorus sung by Ghostface that is at least ten times more compelling, catchy, and memorable than Erykah Badu's sleepy guest turn on the official release. Ghostface does check in with a verse on "The Heart Gently Weeps," but his performance is muted and restrained in comparison, leaving us to wonder why he chose to dial down the charisma. —Matthew Perpetua